Unless you live under a rock (at least that’s what one of my followers told me) you know the Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan just some two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly 20-year war.

The Taliban’s return to power has raised fears of a crackdown on freedom of speech and human rights, especially women’s rights, and concerns worldwide that the country could again become the capital for global terrorism.

So how are social media companies dealing with the Taliban take over?

Social Media Vs The Taliban

Youtube

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has a long-held policy of not allowing accounts believed to be operated by the Taliban on its site, as social media companies faced questions about how they would handle the group that fast gained control of Afghanistan.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram

The Financial Times reports that Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp messaging service has shut down a complaints helpline for Afghans to contact the Taliban, set up by the group after it took control of Kabul on Sunday.

Facebook also said on Monday said it terms the Taliban as a terrorist group and as such bans it and content supporting it from its platforms. A Taliban spokesman accused Facebook of censorship at a news conference on Tuesday, according to a translation of his remarks in a video clip. YouTube, when asked if it banned the Taliban on Monday, declined to comment. But it said on Tuesday that its prohibition of the group was a long-standing approach.

A Facebook spokesperson says that Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has a “dedicated team of Afghanistan experts, who are native Dari and Pashto speakers and have knowledge of local context, helping to identify and alert us to emerging issues on the platform.”

Twitter

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On Twitter, Taliban spokesmen with hundreds of thousands of followers continued to tweet updates during the country’s takeover.

This raised concern over Twitter’s standards after users complained about the key Taliban spokesman while former President Trump’s account remains permanently suspended.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that the network would review content that may violate its rules, specifically against the glorification of violence or platform manipulation, but did not answer questions on whether it has any particular restrictions on the Taliban as a group or how it classifies violent organizations.

The microblogging site on Tuesday also announced a new feature to allow users to flag content that could contain misinformation. “We’re testing a feature for you to report Tweets that seem misleading – as you see them”

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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